Talks seek to entrench African ideals in education

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The fourth regional consultative meeting for Southern Africa to discuss the upcoming triennial of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) took place in Luanda, Angola, on July 17-28, 2016.

The ADEA 2017 Triennial will be held in March, next year, in Marrakech, Morocco.

The Angola event sought to deliberate on the “Implementation of Education for African Cultural Renaissance and the Ideals of Pan-Africanism for the Promotion of Continental Integration and the Birth of the United States of Africa”, the third sub-theme of the ADEA 2017 Triennial. It highlighted the importance of entrenching pan-African ideals and values into school curricular. 

In her opening remarks, Angola’s Minister of Science and Technology, Maria Candida Teixeira, underscored the need for the African continent to build on its multicultural ethics, social cohesion, and mutual understanding, and use these to develop a quality education system. Other speakers included the Vice-Governor of the Province of Luanda, Jovelina Imperial, who described the theme as crucial in helping Africa to identify itself in the global arena so as to advance its development.

Mamadou Ndoye, the Triennial coordinator, presented an overview of the theme and emphasised the importance of the theme, urging young Africans to appreciate Africa’s identity and not to look for solutions outside of the continent. “African history, African languages and African culture must become part and parcel of education systems on the continent,” he said. 

Drawing from pan-Africanism, which champions peace, Ndoye stressed the need for peace education in Africa. “We can never develop if we continue with conflicts and wars. We must, therefore, respect human dignity and fundamental human rights”, he affirmed.

The meeting resulted in key recommendations from the respective group sessions. They included: (a) the need for African countries to self-finance their education programmes rather than depending on external assistance; (b) promoting inter-cultural education based on the principles of sustainability and endogeneity; (c) guiding African Union member states to assume commitment of universal primary education in the child’s mother tongue by 2030; (d) updating works on adult education in Africa and encouraging universal education for all Africans to be consistent with African perspectives; (e) encouraging African integration through facilitation of contacts among the youth; and (f) recognition of African languages and cultures in education for Pan-Africanism.

Adão do Nascimento, Angola’s Minister of Higher Education, lauded the meeting’s outcome, saying it provided an ‘excellent basis’ to prepare Southern African countries for the 2017 Triennial.

Speaking on behalf of ADEA’s Executive Secretary, Oley Dibba- Wadda, the organisation’s Knowledge Management Officer, Raky Gassama Coly, expressed gratitude to the Government of Angola, for hosting the regional consultation. She added that Angola was not only a permanent member of ADEA, but also one of five “Champion Countries” that is supporting the Association.

The recommendations and conclusions of the consultation, Coly said, will be discussed in the March 2017 Triennial. They will pave way for establishment of a roadmap for the implementation of transformative education policies for Africa.